Algy Hoare BEM
Having graduated from Loughborough Algy came to Wadhurst in September 1957 as a newly qualified teacher to join the craft department in the ‘Wadhurst County Secondary Modern School’. A brass player since the age of eleven, he wanted to join a brass band, but there wasn’t one in Wadhurst so he joined Mayfield Band. He also played with a small group in Burwash, the “Thirsty Eight”, but that’s another story.
At school there were pupils who were members of the Salvation Army band and with these he formed a group playing at school assemblies. Soon other pupils expressed an interest in playing, forming the foundation of a small band, which grew and grew. Amazing how many old instruments were found in attics and barns etc. Eventually the Parent Teachers Association purchased a full set of second-hand instruments and the band really expanded, performing at concerts, local village fetes, receptions – anywhere music was needed.
In 1970, he was allowed to attend a year’s study course at Trinity College of Music in London. During that year, George Mallion of the Salvation Army was able to teach his pupils and more besides, continuing to do so when he returned to school with both of them holding lunchtime and after school rehearsals. Their efforts resulted in a complete band, the first in a State School in East Sussex.
It was time for a youth band to be formed using ex-pupils. New instruments were needed and the band began to raise funds to buy these – it took 20 years. In 1984, the band became the Wadhurst Brass Band.
Algy retired from conducting after 60 years at an emotional and celebratory Christmas Concert, December 2017. In a unanimous decision by band members he was made Honorary Band President.
So many people, young and some not so young, have been encouraged by Algy’s enthusiasm and passion for brass music. Wadhurst Brass Band is now a village institution thanks to Algy. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Well Done Algy! You very much deserve it.
Edward Louis Glyn Hoare BEM. Founder and Musical Director of Wadhurst Brass Band. For services to Music. (Wadhurst, East Sussex)